Pres. Trump's Personal Attorney Sues Fusion GPS, Buzzfeed for Defamation

Pres. Trump's Personal Attorney Sues Fusion GPS, Buzzfeed for Defamation

Simpson said Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier, took it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July 2016, and said his concern was "whether or not there was blackmail going on, whether a political candidate was being blackmailed or had been compromised".

It was published nearly exactly a year ago by BuzzFeed and paid for by research firm Fusion GPS.

The dossier contains unverified claims that Cohen and Trump had suspicious connections with Russian figures. The suit says Fusion GPS "started peddling the dossier to media and journalists" in September 2016 as part of the intended goal of opposition research on then-candidate Trump.

"Although no amount of money can ever remedy the damage that has been sustained by Mr. Cohen, we will be seeking maximum damages for the lies contained in the so-called dossier", Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, said in a statement.

Cohen said he is mentioned in the dossier 15 times.

Cohen said he told the panels that he never engaged with, was paid by, or communicated with anyone representing the Russian government, or anyone else, about hacking or interfering with the US election, hacking the Democratic Party, or about creating fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The actions by BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS "are so malicious, despicable and reckless, one can only presume that their motives were intentional", he told CNN.

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"The dossier is, and continues to be, the subject of active investigations by Congress and intelligence agencies. Its interest to the public is obvious", Buzzfeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal said in a statement. "This is not the first time Trump's personal lawyer has attacked the free press, and we look forward to defending our First Amendment rights in court". Any misstep might give his supporters more ammunition to label news outlets as biased.

"Without the dossier, Americans would have found it hard to understand the actions of their elected representatives and government officials", Smith wrote.

He argued that the Steele report merited publication because the public had a right to know what information about Trump was being circulated among reporters, lawmakers and USA investigators. "Their posture toward Mr. Trump was, we now know even more comprehensively than we did in January 2017, shaped by (ex-British intelligence agent Christopher) Steele's report".

He argued the investigation into Russian interference has become the "central challenge to Trump's presidency" and that publishing the dossier past year was in the "public interest".

This is why Democrats say it's important that Simpson told Judiciary Committee investigators that he did not instruct Steele to dig up dirt on Trump or find ways to embarrass him.

A Russian tech executive named in the report also sued the media company and Smith previous year for defamation.

Several important questions, however, remain unanswered, and Simpson, Fusion GPS and Steele are not fully inoculated against some of the charges they've endured from allies of the White House and other critics.

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